Episode VI. Bry Dellows
IT WAS NOT LONG AFTER THE METAMORPHOSIS OF AMRITA THAT Mother Magdalena — so cold and bitter — would start confiding in the aura of the mystifying Al Rodnam, which held in it murky, subtle suggestions of allure that the Mother could intimately identify with. The old guru mystic, along with the new serpentine Amrita and the neverlasting Mother would all soon come together to form quite the tight-knit team of road-ravaging travelers, each of their steps and slithers marking Fucked-Earth with its signature weight as they trudged and trampled on through it determinately.
They were now immersed within a thick, ominous grey myst that was settled about over the expanse of land upon which they trot, a gloomy fog that was slowly drifting and expanding outward in all directions to the very apex of each of the travelers’ observed visibility. The myst was most moist and the humidity in the air perturbed the outermost sensitivities of the travelers, resulting in a rousing of annoyance to all but Amrita’s fully perfunctory perception. But the special woman and the peculiar old man were hardened spirits indeed, and they both had the biological and mental endurance that could match that of a battery-powered robot, yet both puzzlingly distinct from Amrita’s. Furthermore, they both had powerful, archaic talismans and abilities at their disposal, and that certainly kept them much more protected than Amrita.
Al Rodnam was taking Magdalena to the specific geographical coordinates that he deemed the best location for starting a family. The Mother was still not too keen on the whole idea of having sex with the old man, but soon became somewhat trusting in him after substantially contemplating his behavior at multiple instances, coming to convince herself that she understood the reasons for why the old man carried out his curious conjurings. During the time spent with him, Magdalena soon came to believe that, even if she couldn’t understand it at first, ol’ Al Rodnam always knew exactly what he was doing.
And so, incredibly vast distances the band did travel, boldly marching on through the sizzling ruins with brave determination. The three travelers in the little company all shared an equal, strong level of pure perseverance that wove together an underlying collective emotional drive for the three brave spirits, keeping them on the move. The rather resilient crew marched on and on, crossing a vast expanse of sizzling ruins, a repeating, endless turf of turmoil that nevertheless dampened the spirits of the three travelers despite their brave aspirations to continue on in the face of this most dark and haunting adversity.
They each got very little sleep, and barely uttered a Word to One another along their way through these badlands, devoid of the energy or frame-of-mind to have even the slightest inclination to desire engaging in any sort of conversation.
The temperature remained close to a hundred degrees Fahrenheit at all times, didn’t get that much cooler at nighttime, and there came no drastic, encumbering weather. The old guru would extract massive quantities of helium-infused hidden crystal hydrogen particles straight out of thin air from anywhere within the atmosphere several times a day. He liked to fill his magical gourd with Water, and share the Water.
Occasionally throughout their bumpy, ashen travels, the Eyes of the Mother and the Eyes of the Serpent would lock onto each other briefly before each of them quickly cast their glances away. Each time this would happen, the Mother became more assured of the validity of her notion that she was in fact truly aware of how, remarkably, she really was Seeing, without a single doubt whatsoever, an uncannily familiar gleam in the snake’s Eyes. Furthermore, the ‘new Amrita’ had been exhibiting very emotional and playful characteristics along the path toward their peculiar destination, not that unlike those of a cat’s. Very feline.
It was one night after they had stopped to rest and the two human hybrids were relaxing as much as they could in the company of Amrita around a perfectly burning campfire that Lina and Amrita’s Eyes again awkwardly locked together. Al Rodnam had just started the fire, using highly combustible radioactive discards retrieved from the local vicinity, and was now sitting close to it in contemplation, deeply humming a terse mantra repetitively as he musingly exercised various hand gestures held up to the flames.
Off to the side of the makeshift campsite sat together woman and serpent uneasily, and it was inevitable, Lina knew, that she would have to speak up. The Mother had been finding it exceedingly difficult for her to initiate conversation with Amrita along their travels, and the cat-bot’s new form was terribly discomforting to her, so attempting to speak to Amrita would surely be a challenge. But Lina knew it had to be done. And the sooner, the better, she pressed herself anxiously.
After she had recited over and over in her head what she wanted to ask the little creature, the Mother abruptly looked over at the snake, poised to pose her question. But upon instant sight of the serpent, her brain seemed to freeze over and the thoughts she had just been thinking instantly scattered as her voice seemed to suddenly speak on its own. Her Words came out hastily and jumbled, and with a disingenuous flare that tried so hard to make it sound as if the two creatures had already been engaged in personal, friendly conversation.
“Rita, I can’t believe it’s really you!”
Due to the lack of initial response, at first Magdalena figured that Snake-Rita was not able to exhibit any Human characteristics, much like her Amrita in its previous form could. She then became quick to assume that the ability to have emotive, inquisitive conversation seemed altogether absent in snake-Rita. At the same time, Lina also became aware that, yes, the Motherboard of her old friend was indeed now permanently cursed to live inside this scaley body of a serpent somehow.
She saw this Truth in the Serpent’s Eyes, but also recognized it upon clearer hindsight, as well as — undoubtedly now — in certain mannerisms the slinky little thing exhibited, odd as it may be.
The gloomy crimson flush of Fucked-Earth’s Lifeblood continued hazily streaming its dark radiance off the proverbial blood-red Full Moon in the sky. One glance up at the sky now and Lina was having quick instances of déjà vu flash rapidly before her Mind’s Eye. She returned her glance to the little snake who remained perfectly still.
And she knew.
IT WAS ROUGHLY THREE WEEKS ‘NEW-TIME’ AFTER THE BIZARRE Second Coming of Amrita**** that the crew had finally reached their destination. The three weeks of a substantial trek over a hot and desolate, depressing anti-landscape had indeed transpired in relative reticence, respectfully. At last the crew had arrived at the supposedly sanctified section of geomantic terrain that was to be their new Home, where the dusty desert of shit-scraps, hot and dry as could be, sunk into a mostly empty concave that spread out on all sides for roughly two miles. It was an abandoned Hollow, particularly round about its boundaries, and nothing seemed particularly special about it, Magdalena noted upon arrival.
The first several days of their stay at this new location brought with it the sort of boredom and silence that had become commonplace among the complex, dynamic rapport of the three entities. They each slept at night and meditated and exercised during the day. None of the three had any need to feed nor bathe. They all remained clean and replete. Magdalena grew more and more nervous as the dull days rolled along, and the old man had still not shown even the slightest bit of yearning for hormonal manipulation of her reproductive organs.
And, oh, how the Mother wished to discover how this snake could really somehow be energized by her revered cat-bot’s power-core! Oh, how she so very much desired to Once again engage in One of those rare, familiar conversations with her lovable pet, so coming to find Amrita in her new form equally as intelligent as the old android that had been her life-long companion.
But the serpent’s guise was so foreign and uncanny to the Mother that she still simply could not utter a single, meaningful Word to it. It seemed that some subtle body of Amrita was somehow daring the Mother to keep her lip shut so as to paradoxically prompt her to say something, anything at all that would attempt to make contact with it. Further barring a sense of Magdalena’s will was the manner in which she had seen snake-Rita crawl through the dust along their dreary journey to the Hollow, those slightly disturbing images unable to be shaken from the Mother’s recent thoughts. The creature had greatly perturbed the Mother along their journey, displaying no interest, or even any capability, of saying much of anything.
☆ And now, three days since their arrival, Magdalena was sitting cross-legged on the soiled, still-steamy surface of Fucked-Earth within the confines of the Hollow, Observing the deep crimson hue of blood-like sentiment settled over the scenery of shadows that danced about in fervor with the flames of the campfire that were flickering fruitfully. The three had mentally and physically territorialized a makeshift base camp area in a specific spot chosen by Al Rodnam, a spot that appeared not unlike the many campsites they had crudely constructed throughout their journey, only larger. The Mother thought of Mandorla now as she Eyed Al Rodnam in the near distance who was performing various yoga stretches beside the hungry flames of the campfire, intentionally entreating upon what they had to offer. She sighed. ⊙
The thick flames rapidly wavered about amongst shadows in the near distance, glossing over her gapped gaze and mesmerizing Magdalena as she mused over her dilemmas through her mindscape of misfortunes that suspended her psyche in a hot reverie, subconsciously reflecting back to her concealed messages from her unseen future self.
“Don’t be scared when your powers become depleted, Lina,” was the rather blasé, low-pitched remark then suddenly heard from the tiny mouth of the snake that lay motionless beside the Mother. Magdalena abruptly swung her head toward the small snake.
“What did you say?”
“When your powers are depleted, Lina, don’t be scared!” the serpent repeated with enhanced emphasis and slight annoyance.
The woman was again taken aback to hear such a low voice come out of a creature so small, and she marveled over how not a bit like her robot-Rita the snake had sounded.
Straightaway subsequent to her initial shock, the woman took stern note of how most curious a statement in fact that was for the little snake to utter. And before really analyzing the remark any further, Lina started to become very nervous.
“Rita, what are you talking about?” asked the Mother in a loud whisper, bewildered. And then quickly, before the serpent could reply, “—it’s okay if I call you Rita…?”
“That’s my name,” said the serpent. “You’ll see soon,” it replied, turning its scales away from the Mother. “I’m tired. I’m going to sleep.” And the snake slithered away. -MIKE EYE ⊙